A Life Lived: Larry Shoun’s footprints can be found all over Butler community

Published 12:44 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Larry Dean Shoun left some big shoes to fill. His shoes left deep tracks all over the Butler community and into surrounding areas.

Shoun, a third generation owner and operator of Shoun Lumber in the Butler community, died Jan. 18 at the age of 69.

A graduate of Hampton High School, Shoun attended Lees-McCrae College in Banner Elk, N.C., on a football scholarship, but after a year decided to join his father in the lumber business, which became his life’s passion.

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“Larry was all about Butler and helping others. He was my neighbor, a good church member, a family man, a great friend, and he loved the Butler community. There are some people that are hard to replace when they die, and Larry is one of those people. He did so much for this community,” said J.R. Campbell, Principal of Little Milligan School.

“We never had a need at the school, but what Larry didn’t try to meet it. In recent weeks, we have lost two people in our community, who cannot be replaced — Mary Lou Nave and now, Larry. Both had a great impact on our school and community,” shared Campbell. “We have a first-rate playground due to Larry. He kept us in mulch and when the timbers had to be replaced on the playground equipment, he did that as well. He and his wife have been two of our biggest supporters through the years.”

Both, Campbell and Doug Phillips, a friend of Shoun, noted the number of people who called at the funeral home when the family received friends. “They stood in line for two and a half to three hours. The line extended into the parking lot at the funeral home. Someone at the funeral home said over 1,100 people called at the funeral home,” said Phillips, a former teacher and coach at Hampton High School.

“I coached one of his daughters at Hampton, and Larry and his wife were always there to help. While I coached at the school, we built a new fieldhouse and Larry donated almost everything that went into it,” said Phillips.

Shoun left his footprint everywhere he went — the Babe Curtis Community Park in Butler, the Butler Museum, the Butler Fire Department, and the Ruritan building, which is located over the fire department. “Larry was the last of the charter members of the Butler Ruritan Club, having been a member since he was in his 20s. He kept it going at times. Larry was the guardian of the Butler community. He has given so much to this community, and he never wanted any credit for anything. I can’t say enough good things about him,” said Phillips.

“I’ve known Larry since he was a little boy. He was a good friend, very community oriented. He donated more to this community than most people make in a lifetime. I just can’t say enough good things about Larry. He was the salt of the earth,” Phillips shared.

Shoun’s family noted in his obituary that he enjoyed working at the mill and among his favorite mill duties were delivering firewood and mulch to customers. At Christmas, he delivered hams to friends, customers, and neighbors.

One of his favorite things to do was to move dirt and mulch with his loader. “He would spend hours playing around with that loader,” one employee shared.

A cousin, Bill  Shoun, who was more like a brother to Larry, said, “Larry had a bigger heart than anyone I know. He took everyone’s problems on. There was no better man in the world than Larry. He set an example for all of us. He is going to be dearly missed.”

Shoun and his wife, Deana, were the parents of four daughters and five grandchildren.

Bill noted that Larry lived for his family, his church, and community. “His heart was always in Butler,” he said.

While Larry Shoun has gone to his eternal reward, it’s for sure his shoes left some large prints that will not soon be forgotten.